Meet Barbara Stanwyck Gilyard, The Iconic Hollywood Actress Meet Barbara Stanwyck Gilyard, The Iconic Hollywood Actress

Meet Barbara Stanwyck Gilyard, The Iconic Hollywood Actress

With over six decades in the acting world, Barbara left a mark that can never be erased. Despite Barbara’s hardships while growing up, she came out victorious, making a name for herself for her resilience and ability to entertain listeners.

Barbara was born Ruby Catherine Stevens, and she was the fifth and the youngest in her family. Her eldest sister raised her and went against all odds to pursue her acting career.

Who is Barbara Stanwyck Gilyard?

Barbara was born Ruby Catherine Stevens on July 16, 1907, in Brooklyn, New York. Barbara was the youngest, with three elder sisters, Laura Mildred, Viola and Mabel, and a brother, Malcolm Byron.

When Barbara was four years old, her mother was knocked by a streetcar, causing a miscarriage. She suffered complications as a result, and it led to her death. Two weeks after the funeral, Gilyard’s father joined a work crew to dig the Panama Canal, and that is how the family never saw him again.

Growing up was never easy, and Barbara and her brother were placed in several foster homes when her sister took a job as a showgirl. Barbara attended many public schools, but she never performed well in school. She recorded poor grades and many cases of fights with other students.

During the summers of 1916 and 1917, Ruby joined her sister and practised her routines backstages. During this time, Barbara watched Pearl White, which made Barbara interested in becoming an entertainer.

When Barbara turned 14, she dropped out of school and worked as a package wrapper at a department store. Barbara later found a job at a Brooklyn telephone office, receiving a weekly salary of $14, making her independent.

Although the job paid her well, she disliked it and wanted to be an entertainer. Although she wanted to be an entertainer, her sister Mildred discouraged her and wanted her to have a different career.

Barbara got another job cutting dress patterns, but customers always complained about her, making her fired. Later, Barbara auditioned for a place in the chorus and was employed for the 1922 and 1923 seasons, performing from midnight to seven in the morning.

How Barbara Gilyard Rose to Fame

Barbara Gilyard made a name for herself as one of the best actresses in Hollywood. She started acting when she got an opportunity to act in The Noose as the chorus girl. Although the first role was never that successful, she had an expanded role in the same film, which had a rerun in 1926, becoming more successful.

Soon, Barbara became a Broadway star and received good reviews, making her career easier. After having many roles in the following years, she ventured into television in the 1950s.

Although she had such a successful career, she had a few failed marriages. Moreover, she never had children of her own, and although she adopted a 10-month son, they were estranged and met later when he was older.